Although our nation's attitude toward non-violent drug offenders seems to be shifting rapidly, drug possession remains a very serious crime in Florida. If you are arrested for drug possession, you may also be facing much harsher penalties if the prosecution can prove that you had an intent to sell the drugs. In this blog, our Panama City criminal defense attorneys look at three things you need to know if you're ever arrested for this offense.
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Make Sure You Exercise Your Rights
During an arrest, law enforcement officers are required to read you the Miranda Warning, also referred to as your Miranda Rights. The first of these rights is well known – you have the right to remain silent. However, this only benefits you if you actually use it! Do not make the mistake of thinking you can talk your way out of the arrest, or can explain yourself to officers – this will only come back to haunt you.
Another one of these rights is equally important – your right to an attorney. It is best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest, and let them do the talking for you. By retaining a lawyer early in the process, they can help shape the case before charges are ever filed.
You Will Face Serious Penalties
It's important to realize that a drug possession arrest is very serious, and carries some very serious consequences. Depending on the type of drug you were caught with, as well as the amount in your possession, you could be facing as much as 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
As mentioned before, you may also get caught in the "intent to sell" trap. This commonly occurs when you have a larger amount of the drug in your possession, or were found to have things like scales, small plastic bags, or other items that indicate an intent to distribute the drug.
You Need Strong Defense
The most important thing to know about drug possession charges is that they will not go away on their own. The potential consequences are life-altering, and you need tough defense from an experienced Panama City criminal defense lawyer who can fight aggressively on your behalf.
While you may have access to a public defender, it's important to remember that these individuals are often overworked, and are not free like many people think. Our founding attorney is a former prosecutor, giving us inside knowledge as to how the state will build their case against you. If you're facing charges, call our firm today for the dedicated defense you need.
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